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Flexoelectricity in an oxadiazole bent-core nematic liquid crystal

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Sarabjot Kaur
  • V. P. Panov
  • C. Greco
  • A. Ferrarini
  • Verena Görtz
  • John W. Goodby
  • Helen F. Gleeson
Article number223505
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Applied Physics Letters
Issue number22
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)1-4
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date2/12/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We have determined experimentally the magnitude of the difference in the splay and bend flexoelectric coefficients, |e 1 − e 3|, of an oxadiazole bent-core liquid crystal by measuring the critical voltage for the formation of flexodomains together with their wave number. The coefficient |e 1 − e 3| is found to be a factor of 2–3 times higher than in most conventional calamitic nematic liquid crystals, varying from 8 pCm−1 to 20 pCm−1 across the ∼60 K—wide nematic regime. We have also calculated the individual flexoelectric coefficients e 1 and e 3, with the dipolar and quadrupolar contributions of the bent-core liquid crystal by combining density functional theory calculations with a molecular field approach and atomistic modelling. Interestingly, the magnitude of the bend flexoelectric coefficient is found to be rather small, in contrast to common expectations for bent-core molecules. The calculations are in excellent agreement with the experimental values, offering an insight into how molecular parameters contribute to the flexoelectric coefficients and illustrating a huge potential for the prediction of flexoelectric behaviour in bent-core liquid crystals.

Bibliographic note

Copyright 2014 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Applied Physics Letters, 105 (22), 2014 and may be found at http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/apl/105/22/10.1063/1.4903242